May 18, 2021

Social Best Practices for Nonprofits

Likeable Team

During one of the toughest times for New Yorkers in recent history, the COVID-19 pandemic, the Food Bank For New York City was seeing increased need. With so many New Yorkers having lost their jobs, they wanted to make sure they were reaching and serving the community—both those in need and those willing and able to give—in the best ways possible, and reached out to Likeable for social help.

Inspired by the audit we completed for FBNYC, here are some best practices for nonprofits that want to make a real difference on social.

Be Authentic & Tell Real Stories

In the nonprofit space, potential customers and givers want to see an organization that authentically reflects the community and its values. Tapping into this shared identity and experience is crucial for nonprofit organizations to foster authentic relationships with their communities. Additionally, followers want to hear stories of real people on both sides of the giving. Every organization has incredible, moving, and personal stories to tell. Telling those stories in an effective way on social media has the power to save lives, to fill bellies, and to protect families—and nonprofit content is at its best when users are acquainted with the people who make the organization special.

Think Social-First

Resources can be a big challenge for nonprofits. These organizations often have to do so much with so little, and when it comes to social media, this usually means repurposing assets created for other channels like print or web. However, it’s imperative to start thinking social-first. With social driving businesses forward, it is critically important to have an effective presence on these channels. Social is where communities are being built, and it’s also where donations and purchases are taking place in record numbers.

With some small strategic changes—like, for example, using native social features like Facebook’s “Donate” button—the impact here can be great. It’s all about working smarter, not harder. Organizations will need a healthy mix of stills, carousels, and video (in-feed and IGTV; short and long) to help keep the feed fresh and avoid wearout. It’s also crucial to have an ownable brand, as well as consistency when it comes to both visuals and voice and tone. Brand colors should be present but understated in content, resulting in a cohesive feed and an immediately recognizable aesthetic.

Here’s an example of thinking social-first: If your organization is featured in an article, don’t just post a link to the article or a screenshot of the article. Try to grab a powerful quote and turn it into a social-friendly quote card. This way, you can make sure it looks cohesive in your feed, and people can read the longer article if they want to after seeing the shorter quote.

Speak Out

Supporters of these organizations want to see them channel the spirit and attitude of the cities they work in. For many, this means seeing them take a clearer stance on issues they would ordinarily stay neutral on to avoid alienating any donors. The communities want to hear from these local organizations in a real way.


Is your nonprofit looking for social media help? Give us a ring.

Tags: Best Practices, Content Marketing, Creative, Social Good, Social Media, Strategy

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